Santa Cruz’ Saadi Halil finally released his long anticipated, proper full-length Before I Head Out Again on March 20 via Soul Without Borders Publishing. The album was several years in the making, with Halil releasing at least one of the tracks (lead single “Delta Riders”) on 2007’s Sonny Boy Blue (a collection of early recordings circulated among friends and family on burned CD-Rs) and as a stand-alone single last year.
Halil’s music is truly something to behold. Spanning “Delta blues, Spanish Cumbia, Portuguese love songs, Swahili songs of freedom, and more,” his sound is well-developed and unique, exhibiting a myriad of different cultural influences, which makes sense for a kid of Egyptian & Russian-Ashkenazi descent raised in a surf town on the California coast. And his voice – that voice! – is unusually stirring in this day-and-age of vocals drowned out in a sea of fuzz and reverb. It is impossible to listen to Before I Head Out Again without feeling something aroused deep inside by his undeniable spirit and passion.
Below, listen to “Delta Riders” and three other tracks off Before I Head Out Again (“Tomorrow I’ll be Risin’ Alone”, “South Bound Train”, and “O Verão”), and then watch video of Halil playing the traditional gospel track “In My Time of Dying” (made famous in the rock world by both Bob Dylan and later Led Zeppelin). Halil plays the Do-It-Ourselves Fest in Boulder Creek on April 27. Buy Before I Head Out Again on iTunes or stream it on Amazon.
Saadi Halil at Do-It-Ourselves Fest
April 27 at 2:00pm
Boulder Creek CA